PLAYBILL THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, June 30-July 6: Plucking a Page from Spider-Man, New Pages from Arthur Laurents

ICYMI   PLAYBILL THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, June 30-July 6: Plucking a Page from Spider-Man, New Pages from Arthur Laurents
 
The Fourth of July week was a quiet one in the American theatre. Nevermind those throngs of people swarming around Times Square, the crowds flowing in and out of the theatres each evening, the bizarre cartoon characters harassing passersby at Broadway and 42nd Street into taking pictures with their fuzzy selves. News-wise, the Crossroads of the World might as well have been Tumbleweed Junction. Producers can't be bothered to generate stories when they're sunning themselves, Pimm's Cup in hand, out in Montauk.

Patrick Page
Patrick Page

A few things did come to pass, however. Beyond accidents and lawsuits and sell-out crowds, there have few constants in the life of the Broadway phenom knows as Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark. One of them has been Patrick Page, the actor who created the roles of Norman Osborn/Green Goblin and has been in the show since the first of its many, many previews.

Page has also been one of the show's few critical bright spots. Critics largely liked his performance. He also netted the musical the one award its ever likely to see, winning the Actors' Equity Foundation's annual Richard Seff Award on June 12

Page will play his final performance on Aug. 5. His replacement has yet to be announced.

The veteran actor will next be seen in the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Cyrano De Bergerac. Page will play the role of Comte de Guiche.

***

A run of 32 previews and 450 performances is nothing to sneeze at. That is, until you compare it to 16 previews and 5,123 performances.

The latter figures belong to the original Broadway staging of the musical Rent. The former will be the final tally for the Off-Broadway revival of Rent, which, it was announced July 3, will play its final performance at New World Stages Sept. 9.

So, what next? A Rent revival Off-Off-Broadway?

Arthur Laurents

In 1992, the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, Long Island, opened its doors with the premiere production of Joe Pintauro's locally themed drama Men's Lives.

Now, as Bay Street begins its 20th anniversary summer season, it has revived Pintauro's work. Performances of the play, about the history of Long Island fishermen as they struggle to retain their way of life in the face of moneyed gentrification, began July 3.

The theatre has regularly attracted top-notch New York Theatre talent, and this production is no different. Harris Yulin directs the drama, based on the book by Peter Matthiessen. The cast features Mark Coffin, Rob DiSario, Deborah Hedwall, Scott Thomas Hinson, Brian Hutchison, Peter McRobbie, Victor Slezak and Myles Stokowski.

***

And you thought writer Arthur Laurents was done.

Even though the famed man of the theatre died on May 5, 2011, the notoriously opinionated librettist isn't finished talking.

Applause Books will publish "The Rest of the Story," a memoir chronicling the final years of the Tony-winning playwright. The book, which will be released this September, picks up where Laurents' autobiography, "Original Story By," left off. The first book was published in 2000, prior to the death of Laurents' partner Tom Hatcher, and before Laurents would return to direct a triumphant Broadway revival of Gypsy with Patti LuPone in 2008 and West Side Story in 2009.

Laurents completed the book just days before his death. Some writers just can't stop writing.

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